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tion only. The second, as to its ctual eristence, being filled with that body which it is apt to receive : so may we imagine innumerable spaces in heaven which are apt and able to receive the bodies of the saints, and which actually shall be filled with them when they shall be translated thereunto by the power of God.

Presence in a place is the actual existence of a person in his place, or, as logicians speak, in his ubi, that is, answering the inquiry after him where he is. Though all bodies are in certain places, yet persons only are said to be present in them. Other things have not properly a presence to be ascribed to them; they are in their proper places, but we do not say they are present in or to their places.

This being the general description of a place and the presence of any therein, it is evident that properly it cannot be spoken at all of God that he is in one place or other, for he is not a body that should fill up the space of its receipt, nor yet in all places, taking the word properly, for so one essence can be but in one place; and if the word should properly be ascribed to God in any sense, it would deprive him of all his infinite perfections.

It is farther said that there be three ways of the presence of any in reference to a place or places. Some are so in a place as to be circumscribed therein in respect of their parts and dimensions, such are their length, breadth, and depth : so doth one part of them fit one part of the place wherein they are, and the whole the whole; so are all solid bodies in a place ; so is a man, his whole body in his whole place, his head in one part of it, his arms in another. Some are so conceived to be in a place as that, in relation to it, it may be said of them that they are there in it so as not to be anywhere else, though they have not parts and dimensions filling the place wherein they are, nor are punctually circumscribed with a local space : such is the presence of angels and spirits to the places wherein they are, being not infinite or immense. These are so in some certain place as not to be at the same time, wherein they are so, without it, or elsewhere, or in

any other place. And this is proper to all finite, immaterial substances, that are so in a place as not to occupy and fill up that space wherein they are. In respect of place, God is immense, and indistant to all things and places, absent from nothing, no place, contained in none; present to all by and in his infinite essence and being, exerting his power variously, in any or all places, as he pleaseth, revealing and manifesting his glory more or less, as it seemeth good to him.

Of this omnipresence of God, two things are usually inquired after: 1. The thing itself, or the demonstration that he is so omnipresent; 2. The manner of it, or the manifestation and declaring how he is so present. Of this latter, perhaps, sundry things have been over curiously and nicely by some disputed, though, upon a thorough search, their disputes may not appear altogether useless. The schoolmen's


distinctions of God's being in a place repletivè, immensive, impletive, superexcedenter, conservativè, attinctive, manifestative, etc., have, some of them at least, foundation in the Scriptures and right reason. That which seems most obnoxious to exception is their assertion of God to be everywhere present, instar puncti; but the sense of that and its intendment is, to express how God is not in a place, rather than how he is. He is not in a place as quantitive bodies, that have the dimensions attending them. Neither could his presence in heaven, by those who shut him up there, be any otherwise conceived, until they were relieved by the rare notions of Mr. B. concerning the distinct places of his right hand and left. But it is not at all about the manner of God's presence that I am occasioned to speak, but only of the thing itself. They who say he is in heaven only speak as to the thing, and not as to the manner of it. When we say he is everywhere, our assertion is also to be interpreted as to that only; the manner of his presence being purely of a philosophical consideration, his presence itself divinely revealed, and necessarily attending his divine perfections; yea, it is an essential property of God. The properties of God are either absolute or relative. The absolute properties of God are such as may be considered without the supposition of any thing else whatever, towards which their energy and efficacy should be exerted. His relative are such as, in their egress and exercise, respect some things in the creatures, though they naturally and eternally reside in God. Of the first sort is God's immensity ; it is an absolute property of his nature and being. For God to be immense, infinite, unbounded, unlimited, is as necessary to him as to be God; that is, it is of his essential perfection so to be. The ubiquity of God, or his presence to all things and persons, is a relative property of God; for to say that God is present in and to all things supposes those things to be. Indeed, the ubiquity of God is the habitude of his immensity to the creation. Supposing the creatures, the world that is, God is by reason of his immensity indistant to them all; or if more worlds be supposed (as all things possible to the power of God without any absurdity may be supposed), on the same account as he is omnipresent in reference to the present world, he would be so to them and all that is in them.

Of that which we affirm in this matter this is the sum: God, who in his own being and essence is infinite and immense, is, by re::son thereof, present in and to the whole creation equally,—not by a diffusion of his substance, or mixture with other things, heaven or earth, in or upon them, but by an inconceivable indistancy of essence to all things, though he exert his power and manifest his glory in one place more than another; as in heaven, in Zion, at the ark, etc.

That this is the doctrine of the Scriptures in the places before mentioned needs no great pains to evince. In that, 1 Kings viii.


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27, the design of Solomon in the words gives light to the substance of what he asserted. He had newly, with labour, cost, charge, and wisdom, none of them to be paralleled in the world, built a temple for the worship of God. The house being large and exceedingly glorious, the apprehensions of all the nations round about (that looked on, and considered the work he had in hand) concerning the nature and being of God being gross, carnal, and superstitious, themselves answerably worshipping those who by nature were not God, and his own people of Israel exceedingly prone to the same abomination, lest any should suppose that he had thoughts of including the essence of God in the house that he had built, he clears himself in this confession of his faith from all such imaginations, affirming that though indeed God would dwell on the earth, yet he was so far from being limited unto or circumscribed in the house that he had built, that “the heaven and the heaven of heavens," any space whatever that could be imagined, the highest heaven, could not, “cannot contain him;" so far is he from having a certain place in heaven where he should reside, in distinction from other places where he is not. “He is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath,” Josh. ii. 11. That which the temple of God was built unto, that “the heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain.” Now, the temple was built to the being of God, to God as God: so Acts vii. 47, “ But Solomon built him an house;" him,—that is, the Most High,-—"who dwelleth not,” is not circumscribed, “ in temples made with hands,” verse 48.

That of Ps. cxxxix. 7-10 is no less evident; the presence or face of God is expressly affirmed to be everywhere : "Whither shall I go from thy face? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there : if I go into hell

, behold, thou art there.” As God is affirmed to be in heaven, so everywhere else ; now that he is in heaven, in respect of his essence and being, is not questioned.

Neither can that of the prophet Isaiah, chap. Ixvi. 1, be otherwise understood but as an ascribing of an ubiquity to God, and a presence in heaven and earth: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.” The words are metaphorical, and in that way expressive of the presence of a person; and so God is present in heaven and earth. .. That the earth should be his footstool, and yet himself be so inconceivably distant from it as the heaven is from the earth (an expression chosen by himself to set out the greatest distance imaginable), is not readily to be apprehended. “ He is not far from every one of us: for in him we live, and move, and have our being,” Acts xvii. 27, 28.

The testimony which God gives to this his perfection in Jer. xxiij. 23, 24, is not to be avoided; more than what is here spoken by God himself as to his omnipresence we cannot, we desire not to speak: "Can any hide himself in secret places, that I shall not see him?

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saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.” Still where mention is made of the presence of God, there heaven and earth (which two are comprehensive of, and usually put for the whole creation) are mentioned: and herein he is neither to be thought afar off nor near, being equally present everywhere, in the hidden places as in heaven; that is, he is not distant from any thing or place, though he take up no place, but is nigh all things, by the infiniteness and existence of his being.

From what is also known of the nature of God, his attributes and perfections, the truth delivered may be farther argued and confirmed; as,

1. God is absolutely perfect; whatever is of perfection is to be ascribed to him: otherwise he could neither be absolutely self-sufficient, all-sufficient, nor eternally blessed in himself. He is absolutely perfect, inasmuch as no perfection is wanting to him, and comparatively above all that we can conceive or apprehend of perfection. If, then, ubiquity or omnipresence be a perfection, it no less necessarily belongs to God than it does to be perfectly good and blessed. That this is a perfection is evident from its contrary. To be limited, to be circumscribed, is an imperfection, and argues weakness. We commonly say, we would do such a thing in such a place could we be present unto it, and are grieved and troubled that we cannot be so. That it should be so is an imperfection attending the limitedness of our natures.

Unless we will ascribe the like to God, his omnipresence is to be acknowledged. If every perfection, then, be in God (and if every perfection be not in any, he is not God), this is not to be denied to him.

2. Again; if God be now"in a certain place in heaven," I ask where he was before these heavens were made ? These heavens have not always been. God was then where there was nothing but God,-no heaven, no earth, no place. In what place was God when there was no place ? When the heavens were made, did he cease this manner of being in himself, existing in his own infinite essence, and remove into the new place made for him? Or is not God's removal out of his existence in himself into a certain place a blasphemous imagination? “Ante omnia Deus erat solus ipse sibi, et locus, et mundus, et omnia," Tertul. Is this change of place and posture to be ascribed to God? Moreover, if God be now only in a certain place of the heavens, if he should destroy the heavens and that place, where would he then be ? in what place? Should he cease to be in the place wherein he is, and begin to be in, to take up, and possess another? And are such apprehensions suited to the infinite perfections of God? Yea, may we not suppose that he may create another heaven? can he not do it? How should he be present there ? or must it stand empty? or must he move himself thither? or make himself bigger than he was, to fill that heaven also ?


3. The omnipresence of God is grounded on the infiniteness of his essence. If God be infinite, he is omnipresent. Suppose hiin infinite, and then suppose there is any thing besides himself, and his presence with that thing, wherever it be, doth necessarily follow; for if he be so bounded as to be in his essence distant from any thing, he is not infinite. To say God is not infinite in his essence denies him to be infinite or unlimited in any of his perfections or properties; and therefore, indeed, upon the matter Socinus denies God's power to be infinite, because he will not grant his essence to be, Cat. chap. xi. part 1. That which is absolutely infinite cannot have its residence in that which is finite and limited, so that if the essence of God be not immense and infinite, his power, goodness, etc., are also bounded and limited ; so that there are, or may be, many things which in their

l own natures are capable of existence, which yet God cannot do for want of power. How suitable to the Scriptures and common notions of mankind concerning the nature of God this is will be easily known. It is yet the common faith of Christians that God is απερίγραπτος, και άπειρος.

4. Let reason (which the author of these Catechisms pretends to advance and honour, as some think, above its due, and therefore cannot decline its dictates) judge of the consequences of this gross apprehension concerning the confinement of God to the heavens, yea, “a certain place in the heavens,” though he “glister” never so much "in glory" there where he is. For, (1.) He must be extended as a body is, that so he may fill the place, and have parts as we have, if he be circumscribed in a certain place; which though our author thinks no absurdity, yet, as we shall afterward manifest, it is as bold an attempt to make an idol of the living God as ever any of the sons of men engaged into. (2.) Then God's greatness and ours, as to essence and substance, differ only gradually, but are still of the same kind. God is bigger than a man, it is true, but yet with the same kind of greatness, differing from us as one man differs from another. A man is in a certain place of the earth, which he fills and takes up; and God is in a certain place of the heavens, which he fills and takes up. Only some gradual difference there is, but how great or little that difference is, as yet we are not taught. (3.) I desire to know of Mr B. what the throne is made of that God sits on in the heavens, and how far the glistering of his glory doth extend, and whether that glistering of glory doth naturally attend his person as beams do the sun, or shining doth fire, or can he make it more or less as he pleaseth? (4.) Doth God fill the whole heavens, or only some part of them? If the whole, being of such substance as is imagined, what room will there be in heaven for any body else? Can a lesser place hold him? or could he fill a greater? If not, how came the heavens (to be] so fit for him? Or could he not have made them of other dimensions, less or greater ? If he be only in a part of heaven, as is more than insinuated in the


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